Parent of New Haven Alumni - 2013 Mike
"NH really is focused on helping the girls find out how to help themselves" or as our daughter wrote, "to find the right balance of the old me and the new me."
Where is your daughter now?
After NH, our daughter went to college near Boston, graduated four years later with a double major in math and computer science, and got a job working for a computer finance company near us. She's had lots of adventures, but maybe the best is meeting her boyfriend about three years ago. They seem to have a great relationship. We see them at least once a week and on vacations.
"We also benefited tremendously from the other parents in our house, who shared important advice and experiences when we were new and then who appreciated it when we did the same just before we left."
What part of New Haven was most helpful?
It's hard to identify one part of the program which was most important, since we needed the whole journey. Clearly the family weekends were times we made significant strides forward, especially all the ways we were out of our comfort zones. I looked back at a letter our main therapist had us write our daughter just before the final transition. Two sections stand out. First, the key role the education director, Laurie, played in helping our daughter decide that college was the best, next step for her. "I want to go to college where I can be sure that mentally and emotionally I'm fine" she told us, as opposed to all the junk about getting into the best college, etc. It was about the right fit (and she found it). Second, NH really is focused on helping the girls find out how to help themselves or as our daughter wrote, "to find the right balance of the old me and the new me." We also benefited tremendously from the other parents in our house, who shared important advice and experiences when we were new and then who appreciated it when we did the same just before we left.
How would you describe your family relationships now?
That fantastic transition ceremony led me to believe that our relationships would be wonderful after NH. It was a dream that wasn't fulfilled for a number of reasons, mostly because I thought the three of us would implement what we'd learned and be much closer. That didn't happen. My dream would have resulted in relationships ranked as an A+, but in fact they ended up being more of a B+. Compared to where we'd been at the beginning of our NH journey (a C), that was a significant improvement. Her years in college hurt me, because she excluded me from them. But after college when she got a job and moved back here, we all seemed to get along much better (maybe an A-). So I have absolutely no complaints … it just took longer to get to the potential described at the transition ceremony than I expected. NH gave us our daughter back … gave her the tools to come back to us … something I will always be grateful for and appreciate.
Click below to see how other New Haven Alumni are doing!
"I could go on for days about where I am now compared to where I was then! It seems like a completely different life.. New Haven helped me so much, and I love being able to give the gift back!"